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Reviews

Reviews 

Blues Matters - The Tyneside Americana Blues Festival at Cullercoats Crescent Club 2024

After a hearty breakfast the main stage came alive with Yorkshire based DC Blues, fronted by the effervescent Paul Winn, vocalist, and harmonica player. Accompanied by a tight band with Lloyd Massingham on lead guitar, Ben Darwin on bass guitar, Paul Thompson on drums, and Stephen Brandon on keyboards.  They marked their territory with a unique rendition of Rollin’ & Tumblin’. Their chemistry was evident, highlighted by a powerful keyboard performance.  They explored diverse styles, infusing gospel vibes into "Take Me Down" and igniting the crowd with the energetic "Who Do You Love" which featured a well received drum solo by “Tommo".  The performance concluded memorably with "Nervous Fella" with Paul engaging the crowd in a participatory treat.

Saltburn Blues Club - Jan 2024

The blues came up from the Delta, the Mississippi Delta, but in tonight’s case from the Ouse Delta, to New Marske Institute.  DC Blues hail from York, and these guys know a thing or two about that kind of music as singer Paul Winn and bassist Ben Darwin not only host a radio show Blues From The Ouse, but also organise York Blues Festival, so they deserve some kudos even if they couldn’t play a note between them. But they can!  Along with Lloyd Massingham on guitar, Steve Brandon on keys and Paul Thompson on drums.  This band build a driving, energetic sound and their understanding of dynamics is best displayed on their signature "Somebody Loan Me A Dime".  Instrumentally, Steve widens the attack by switching from his Hammond sound to introduce electric piano, facing off Paul on harp and fending off Lloyd’s fluent guitar licks, and when they fall into a boogie (and they like a boogie or two), you need a rhythm section like Ben and Tommo to knit the band tight, a platform for Paul’s capable vocals.  When vintners discuss wine, they ask, “Does it travel?”  Be assured the blues can, all the way from the Ouse and DC Blues proved it tonight.

Blues Matters - The Great British Rock & Blues Festival, Skegness - Jan 2023
The opening act on the Blues Matters stage was Yorkshire band DC Blues, a hard hitting 5 piece band led by the mercurial frontman Paul Winn on harmonica, his vocal delivery throughout this set was very good and the rhythm section of Ben Darwin and drummer Paul Thompson really shone through.  Add to this the guitar artistry of Lloyd Massingham and the chemistry flows in this blues intoxicated laboratory.  Steve Brandon on keys was the icing on this slick and enjoyable performance, mixing blues styles and reinterpreting such standards as "Who Do You Love" & "Somebody Loan Me A Dime" with a funky slow sexy feel.

Tight band as an opener and this was a memorable performance.

Blues Matters - Hallelujah Festival - Hartlepool - Nov 2022
Today saw the Yorkshire outfit DC Blues start the musical shenanigans.  Comprising of Paul Winn on Harmonica and lead vocals, he plays off his bass man Ben Darwin who is also a fellow presenter of the popular radio show "Blues From The Ouse" on Jorvik Radio on Wednesday nights.  This adds to the camaraderie in the band and influences set numbers I'm sure.

They are joined by Lloyd Massingham on guitar and vocals, Paul Thompson on drums and adding keyboards was the wonderfully talented Stephen Brandon. They started with Tore Down and then moved a pace to Rollin' & Tumblin'.  Paul is a wonderful frontman but quite self-deprecating and lets the music
tell its story.  Bitter Man is a case in point, very poignant.  They played a couple of JJ Grey tunes, the best being Georgia Warhorse with some pulsating sonics throughout. 

Great tunes, a great band… what’s not to like?

Blues Matters - Album Review - Dec 2022

Live At Sedgefield Rock & Blues Club

DC Blues Band are a five-piece hailing from Yorkshire. They are fronted by the effervescent Paul Winn, vocalist and Harmonica player.  He is accompanied by Lloyd Massingham on Lead Guitar, Ben Darwin on Bass, Paul Thompson on drums and Stephen Brandon on keyboards.  Playing live they are a joy to behold, they are a tight band who really enjoy playing to a crowd. Various quips and banter are not unknown at their many events. This atmosphere has been caught in the moment on this newest release.

Nine tracks, two self-penned, slow mellow blues tune "Bitter Man" and final track, the catchy rocky tones of "Nervous Fella" offering their own style of blues and the band’s chemistry seems well gelled.  The opening bars to Back To You are punctuated by Harmonica tones and then the band comes in with punchy rhythm.  Fine vocals from Paul throughout and enjoyed by a rapt audience.  Rollin’ & Tumblin’ next has a swagger of its own, especially like the organ tones, while the backbeat is rocky then guitars take the fore and a jam like feel ensues, superb!  Two JJ Grey numbers, Georgia Warhorse and Mississippi were given a different tone exhibiting what a talented band this is, Harmonica tones filled the Hall, and that rhythm section are great.  Steady Rollin’ Man was given a full-on powerful approach.  Bo Diddley’s "Who Do You Love" sounded excellent and their interpretation was
upbeat.  Loan Me A Dime was astounding, full of mellow notation and wonderful musicianship.


Highly recommended, go and see this band when you can.

 
Album Review
Blues Matters - York Blues Festival - April 2022
This is a Blues Festival with its own house band DC Blues and if you are as talented as Paul Winn and Ben Darwin co-hosts why not highlight your own band.

Not only are these two high class musicians but they also have a radio show, Blues From The Ouse broadcast locally on
Jorvik Radio.  They had over seven hundred applicants to play this prestigious event, how they managed to whittle it down to eight is a mammoth task in itself but it worked and great thanks to them and fellow organisers for making this such a success!

Their band took the stage to great applause from local supporters and new ones. The band comprise of Paul Winn, lead singer & Harmonica player, Ben Darwin, Bass player, Stephen Brandon on Hammond Organ, Lloyd Massingham on Guitar and Paul Thompson on Drums.  Together they sound impressive and put on another impressive performance, mixing all things blues, adding fun and lots of Yorkshire humour references throughout the set.  Paul is a great frontman and gels this outfit well on stage.  Opening with Back To You, they mixed lots of styles. Rollin’ & Tumblin' was particularly impressive, the drumming superb!  You Mind My Business was in your face rocking blues, just superb!  The tempo slowed down for Bitter Man, which was a slow bluesy number and very atmospheric and took in a smoky feel.  Something Funky did just that and had the dance floor boogie feel with Ben being particularly adroit on the bassline.  The interaction between the musicians was excellent, each really looking like  they were enjoying every note of every song and this reflected on the audience reaction & upped the happy ambience in the building. I Can Tell was just pure maximum Yorkshire R&B and an absolute delight.  They finished with an original track called Nervous Fella and ending a most enjoyable set.  Hard bluesin' at its best!  A cohesive band of top-class musicians, what is not to like?
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